1932 – 2000
Who was John Grant?
John Douglas Grant was a British Member of Parliament from 1970 to 1983. He was as a member of the Labour Party until he left in 1981 to join the new Social Democratic Party. He represented Islington East from 1970 to 1974 and Islington Central from 1974-1983.
Grant was born in Finsbury Park, North London. He attended the Stationers' Company School in Hornsey before beginning a career as journalist. He worked for several regional newspapers before he managing to secure a post at the Daily Express in 1955 where he covered the trades unions, rising to become the Chief Industrial Correspondent in 1967.
Grant combined his career in journalism with an interest in politics and secured the Labour nomination for the Conservative seat of Beckenham which he lost by 13,000 votes in the 1966 General Election. However, for the 1970 General Election, Grant managed to secure the selection for the safe Labour seat of Islington East and was comfortably elected to Parliament.
Grant soon acquired a reputation as an accomplished parliamentarian with particular expertise in trade union matters which he acquired through his many years as an industrial correspondent and his close personal relationships with many of the trade union leaders whom he had covered. Grant served as a minister through the second Wilson and Callaghan governments. After a brief tenure as a Parliamentary Secretary at the Civil Service Department, he was promoted to be Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Overseas Development. In 1976, Grant moved laterally to the Department of Employment where he served with great distinction and received much praise for his work helping the disabled.